Ted Cruz Lies Again About the Science of Climate Change
[Editor's note: Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz held a hearing that attacked the clean air and clean water safeguards that protect millions of American families. During the hearing, Sen. Cruz relentlessly questioned Sierra Club President Aaron Mair on the validity of global warming, relying on classic climate denier arguments. On Thursday, Mair responded to Sen. Cruz's attack on climate science.]
In the U.S. Senate, witnesses at committee hearings swear to tell the truth. Unfortunately, the senators grilling them don’t take the same pledge, so Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) won’t be sanctioned for misleading a Judiciary Committee panel this week with claims of a supposed “pause” in global warming, which he hopes will sow doubt about the accepted science behind climate change.
This isn’t the first time Cruz and the climate denier community have focused on a disputed claim that there has been no increase in global temperatures over the last 15 to 18 years, nor is it the first time actual scientists have had to debunk his conclusions. A March 27 Fact Checker column in the Washington Post looked at Cruz’s comment on a late night TV show that “satellite data demonstrate for the last 17 years, there’s been zero warming.” The Post delved into the science behind the issue and gave Cruz three out of four Pinnochios, finding his claim was “mostly false.”
Carl Mears, a physicist and senior scientist at Remote Sensing Systems whose work was cited by the senator’s staff in defending Cruz’s claim, has since come forward in the Post to reject the way his data is being used by Cruz:
Mr. Cruz … likes to cite statistics about the last 17 years because 17 years ago, the … observed temperatures were substantially above normal … When one starts their analysis on an extraordinarily warm year, the resulting trend is below the true long term trend. It’s like a pro baseball player deciding he’s having a batting slump three weeks after a game when he hit three homers because he’s only considering those three weeks instead of the whole season.
Even more recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a study concluding that there has been no pause in global warming during the years cited by Cruz. “The new data include more extensive and improved surface air temperature observations taken at thousands of weather observing stations over land, and for ocean sea surface temperature there are new observations from commercial ships and drifting surface buoys,” writes Antonia Herzog, deputy director of the Climate and Clean Air Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
During his hearing this week, Cruz also ridiculed the idea that 97 percent of climate scientists agree that human activity is contributing to the warming of the planet, saying the figure had been discredited. But when watchdogs such as PolitiFact look into it, they find climate deniers are cherry-picking evidence for that claim. A review of nearly 12,000 climate abstracts published between 1991 and 2011 found that more than 97 percent of papers expressing an opinion on the matter endorsed the consensus that human activity contributes to climate change. NASA has long backed up the claim of overwhelming scientific consensus on man-made climate change, and a recent study of the broader scientific community found nearly 92 percent of non-climate scientists agree. There is overwhelming scientific agreement that the energy choices we make have a significant influence on our climate.
Scientists don’t ignore new evidence when it contradicts earlier theories, but it seems Sen. Cruz and the climate deniers are not interested in any data or study which contradicts their own ideology or threatens the party line fed to them by their fossil fuel industry benefactors. That allows them to stand before the American people and refuse to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The 2020 hurricane season is now expected to be the most active since at least the early 1980s, meteorologists at Colorado State University, a standard bearer for seasonal hurricane predictions, announced Wednesday.
Three years ago, scientists predicted it would happen. Now, new NASA satellite imagery confirms it's true: two ice caps in Canada's Nunavut province have disappeared completely, providing more visual evidence of the rapid warming happening near the poles, as CTV News in Canada reported.
- Climate Explained: What the World Was Like the Last Time Carbon ... ›
- Polar Bears Could Be Nearly Gone by 2100, Study Finds - EcoWatch ›
- Greenland's Ice Sheet Is Melting at Rate That Surpasses Scientists ... ›
By Katell Ané
The European Commission launched a new Farm to Fork strategy in an effort to reduce the social and environmental impact of the European food system. It is the newest strategy under the European Green Deal, setting sustainability targets for farmers, consumers, and policymakers.
Facebook and Twitter removed posts by President Donald Trump and his campaign Wednesday for violating their policies against spreading false information about COVID-19.
- Rare Inflammatory Disease Linked to More Than 100 Childhood ... ›
- COVID-19: What Experts Think About Reopening Schools - EcoWatch ›
- Teens and Tweens Are Fastest COVID-19 Spreaders, New Study ... ›
- Researchers Are Creating a Drone to Study Wild Dolphins With Help ... ›
- These Whales Are Suffering a Slow-Motion Extinction - EcoWatch ›
By Alexander Freund
Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab says he believes Tuesday's explosion in Beirut could have been caused by large quantities of ammonium nitrate stored in the port.
What Is Ammonium Nitrate?<p>Ammonium nitrate is a white crystalline salt that can be fairly cheaply produced from ammonia and nitric acid. It is soluble and often used as fertilizer, as nitrogen is needed for healthy plant development.</p><p>Ammonium nitrate in its pure form is not dangerous. It is, however, heat sensitive. At 32.2 degrees Celsius (89.96 degrees Fahrenheit), ammonium nitrate changes its atomic structure, which in turn changes its chemical properties.</p><p>When large quantities of ammonium nitrate are stored in one place, heat is generated. If the amount is sufficiently vast, it can cause the chemical to ignite. Once a temperature of 170 C is reached, ammonium nitrate starts breaking down, emitting nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas. Any sudden ignition causes ammonium nitrate to decompose directly into water, nitrogen and oxygen, which explains the enormous explosive power of the salt.</p>
Deadly Disasters<p>As ammonium nitrate is a highly explosive chemical, many countries strictly regulate its use. Over the past 100 years, there have been several disasters involving the chemical.</p><p>In 1921, for example, a massive blast occurred at a BASF chemical plant in Ludwigshafen in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. About 400 metric tons of a mixture of ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate exploded, killing 559 people and injuring 1,977. The plant was largely destroyed in the blast, which could be heard as far away as Munich, some 300 kilometers (186 miles) distant.</p><p>In 2015, explosions caused by ammonium nitrate ripped through the <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/china-convicts-dozens-for-last-years-giant-explosions-in-tianjin/a-36324321" target="_blank">Chinese port city of Tianjin</a>. Eight hundred metric tons of the chemical were said to have been stored along with other substances in a warehouse for hazardous materials. The blasts killed 173 people and destroyed an entire city district.</p><p>Two years earlier, in 2013, an ammonium nitrate explosion occurred at the West Fertilizer Company site in Texas, killing 14 people. And in 2001, 31 people died in Toulouse, France, in an explosion caused by the chemical.</p>
Terrorist Favorite<p>In Germany, the purchase and use of ammonium nitrate is regulated by the explosives act. This is because the cheap, highly explosive and relatively easily obtainable material has in the past been used by terrorists to carry out attacks.</p><p>For example, in 1995, U.S. conspiracy theorist and gun enthusiast Timothy McVeigh used a mixture of ammonium nitrate and other substances to bomb the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Norwegian far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik also used ammonium nitrate in a car bomb attack in Oslo in 2011.</p>
- 5 Ways to Keep Unhealthy Nitrates and Nitrites Out of Your Body ... ›
- The Price of Our Fertilizer Addiction - EcoWatch ›
- 8 Disturbing Facts About Monsanto's Evil Twin—The Chemical ... ›
By Michelle D. Holmes
Most Americans know about the Dietary Guidelines for Americans primarily through their colorful representations: the original food pyramid, which a few years ago morphed into MyPlate. The guidelines represent the government mothering us to choose the healthiest vegetables, grains, sources of protein, and desserts, and to eat them in the healthiest portions.
As innocuous as the food pyramid and MyPlate seem, they are actually a matter of life and death.
- 6 Powerful Ways to Improve Mental Health - EcoWatch ›
- New, Improved Vegetarian and Vegan Food Pyramid - EcoWatch ›
- Dr. Mark Hyman: Here's How the Food Pyramid Should Look ... ›